Māori versus the environmental lobby

More on the lack of consultation with Māori, who have existing rights granted under a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, over the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, and the reality that environmental groups are willing to put their own ambitions ahead of Māori rights.

And opposition parties.

Stephanie Rodgers has posted on the environmental lobby at Boots Theory and reposted at The Standard, where there are some interesting comments – The Kermadecs and racist environmentalism.

We’re not even arguing about meaningful consultation around establishing the Kermadec sanctuary, we’re talking about ZERO consultation by white politicians who assumed they knew best. National are literally in coalition with the Māori Party but didn’t even pick up the phone to give them a heads-up…

It was handled poorly by the Government initially, and worse since with Environment Minister Nick Smith making more of a mess of it, to the extent that the legislation has been put on hold until it is sorted out.

But Rodgers in particular blasts environmental groups.

This week has been a revelation in the racist imperialism of mainstream (white) environmental organisations.

Problem 2 is the (very Pākehā) environment lobby’s outrage that anyone might stand in the way of an ocean sanctuary. “Think of the planet!” they cry, which is appallingly arrogant coming from the ethnic group which has done the vast majority of screwing up the planet to start with.

We have to take a hard look at how environmental organisations and Pākehā liberalism exploit indigenous culture. When it suits us, we happily draw on the notion of indigenous people being ~more in touch with the land~ and having a ~spiritual connection to nature~ and painting with all the goddamned colours of the wind. When it helps our agenda, we happily retweet the hashtags opposing oil pipelines and trumpet the importance of honouring the Treaty.

But scratch the surface and all the smug superiority is there. We know better; our thinking is more advanced because we care about ~the whole planet~.

It’s very easy to care about the whole planet when you’re on the team who took it by force.

That’s scathing of the “very Pākehā environment lobby”.  Rodgers doesn’t name names, but there has been angst expressed over ex Green leader and now Greenpeace leader Russel Norman’s performance on The Nation in the weekend, where he appeared to see the Sanctuary as sacrosanct and effectively, to hell with Māori ownership of rights.

A press release on Friday:

Environmental Groups support Government on the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary

Representatives of leading environmental groups have reaffirmed their strong support for the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

The groups include Greenpeace, WWF, Forest & Bird, the Environmental Defence Society and Ecologic.

Greenpeace Executive Director Dr Russel Norman said that he backed the Government’s determination to create the Sanctuary in spite of strong resistance from the fishing industry.

“The Kermadec proposal will be the largest ever marine protected area in our jurisdiction. It will have immense ecological benefits, allowing marine life in 15% of our Exclusive Economic Zone to prosper without any form of commercial exploitation,” said Dr Norman.

Which means all fishing rights should be removed.

WWF-New Zealand’s Senior Campaigner, Alex Smith, said that fishing industry lobbyists had consistently opposed the creation of no-take marine reserves so the current opposition was not unexpected.

“New Zealand has obligations under international law to protect the marine environment that surrounds us. The Government is entirely within its rights to create marine protected areas like the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary,” said Mr Smith.

“The Sanctuary is backed by solid science and by 89% of New Zealanders. We urge the fishing industry to break away from its traditional opposition to full marine protection and get behind this initiative.”

That uses the term ‘fishing industry’ and omits the fact that Māori fishing rights are involved.

The Executive Director of Ecologic, long-time environmentalist Guy Salmon, said:

“This is the biggest conservation gain for our oceans in my lifetime and is of international importance,” he said.

“I don’t believe the Sanctuary involves a breach of property rights, and that claim will now be tested in Court.”

That’s a line up of “a very Pākehā environment lobby”.

But it’s not just environmental groups involved. The sanctuary has cross party support, with both Greens and Labour supporting National on it.

From an interview on Waatea News with Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Jamie Tuuta:

“…I think it is important for the Green Party to reflect on their view on the treaty and indigenous rights because it is fair to say if they support the bill in its current form, they are supporting the unilateral extinguishment of Maori rights and interests,” he says.

Normally the Greens put some value on Māori rights and would hate to be seen as “very Pākehā”.

In comments Rodgers again slammed the Government (with some justification)…

There’s nothing “novel” in the government’s approach on this. They announced a major decision affecting a Treaty settlement with zero consultation with the affected parties. Par for the course for European colonisers in New Zealander, really. No one can be surprised that now Māori have a (somewhat) larger voice in the public discourse, they’re raising hell about it.

It is clear racism when Māori are expected to accept “full and final” Treaty settlements, the Government of the day unilaterally changes those settlements, and then all the white folk run around pontificating about “commercial interests” and “gifts to the planet” and “extinction of the moa”.

…but doesn’t mention the Greens. Nor her own Labour Party. Alwyn brought them into the discussion:

  1. Labour take a Maori leaning approach, oppose the sanctuary, and cause a split in the MOU between them and the Green Party. The Green Party can hardly oppose the sanctuary can they?
  2. Labour supports the sanctuary, which was in the policy for the last election, and whip their own Maori MPs into line, thereby showing that Labour don’t really provide any reason for Maori to vote for them.
  3. Alternatively the Labour Party supports the sanctuary and the Maori members of the Labour Party Caucus cross the floor and vote against it.

Then you get the question of why the Maori members are remaining in the Labour Party at all. What do you think the Labour Party are going to do?

It was pointed out that the “Labour position is they support the sanctuary but oppose the process”.  And “that sounds very like their TPP stance and we know how that’s worked for them”. A bob each way politics, opposing the Government but supporting what they want to achieve.

Most people support the Kermadec sanctuary, including the Māori Party (and Māori generally as far as I’m aware).

It’s not just National who should be having a serious look at how they want to progress the sanctuary. Environmental groups and the Greens and Labour may like to have a rethink as well.


  1. David

     /  September 19, 2016

    I dont get all the excitement except the usual outraged Maori treaty seperatists, no one really fishes much there, no one has lost any of their quota rights both gifted and bought and its a great big win for the environment.
    Any link between the seabed and foreshore is spurious and as usual it will be an internal Maori political issue and someone somewhere will be clipping the ticket or out for some form of benefit.

    • Whether anyone currently fishes there or not is immaterial. Rights are rights.

      A million non-voters shouldn’t have their voting rights taken off them because they don’t exercise those rights.

      Those with drilling and mining rights shouldn’t have those taken off them if they haven’t drilled or dug yet (unless there is a term on the rights).

      A solution seems likely to leave the rights in place but with a moratorium on them.

      • Nick Ellis

         /  September 19, 2016

        Fishing Quota have never been set in stone, they are necessarily dynamic. A vote, is a vote. It’s a poor analogy.

      • David

         /  September 19, 2016

        Quotas are set every year and are subject to change but none of these are being taken away, the government is doing something amazing for the marine environment which has very little impact on commercial fisheries. Maori have 45% of the fishing quota and they still do and set your clock Pete because someones palm will be crossed with silver and everything will be ok and Maori will continue to fill their quota allocation.
        Its a shake down

    • Blazer

       /  September 19, 2016

      Always wonder why the people who think it is anathema for Maori to ‘clip the ticket’,are such fervent supporters of TPPA,the agreement to entitle Corporations to clip the ticket out of existence.

      • David

         /  September 19, 2016

        How on earth did you get to the TPP and corporate ticket clipping, bearing in mind there is a treaty clause in there and the history of trade agreements is a benefit to to consumers at the expense of the corporate. Do you just have a written list of leftie slogans and just fire them out when you have nothing relevant to say.

        • Blazer

           /  September 19, 2016

          you obviously know very little about the …TPPA.

          • Iceberg

             /  September 19, 2016

            Do you just have a written list of leftie slogans and just fire them out when you have nothing relevant to say?

  2. How can any-one claim a right to fishing grounds that they have -never- fished ?
    Or overlay that pristine ground with a ‘quota’ that they fill closer to NZ?
    I suspect the koha train is sitting empty at the station waiting for its usual load

    • Quite easily – they have been granted a right. Whether they use that right is up to them.

      • Gezza

         /  September 19, 2016

        Yep. And whether they might consider not exercising that right is something you should ask before you just give it away, when it’s not yours.

      • Nick Ellis

         /  September 19, 2016

        There are rights, trademark is the obvious one, that you can lose simply by not actively utilising, or defending them.

  3. Iceberg

     /  September 19, 2016

    Rogers would have found a way to be OUTRAGED either way.

    If Smith had consulted with Maori and abandoned the idea of a sanctuary, can you really see her not smashing the govt as environmental vandals?

    • @ Iceberg – Of course, Maori outrage couldn’t possibly be genuine! The poverty of your speculative derision epitomises the very ethical bankruptcy of pakeha coloniser mentality.

      Let’s speculate about it the other way around: Maori un-used land, some of it pristine Native forest, should be sequestered by the government for productive use by pakeha as farms, forests and tourism enterprises?

      The most cynical part of me, looking at this through conspiracy theory glasses, sees the National Party government polarising, mustering, focusing, marshalling and concentrating their ‘key’ voter base along racial lines a year out from the elections.

      Over in your and many other people’s much vaunted United States of America people commonly celebrate, cheer and applaud groups and individuals who take Legal issues to the Supreme Court for ‘testing’ against their Constitution.

      Despite the risk to the sanctuary, what Maori leaders and Te Ohu Kaimoana are doing is matau a tika : right and correct.

      • Iceberg

         /  September 19, 2016

        Gaaawd you pen some total crap.

        “speculative derision epitomises the very ethical bankruptcy of pakeha coloniser mentality”

        That definitely wins most patronising superiority complex of the week.

        And it’s only Monday.

        “Maori outrage couldn’t possibly be genuine”

        Not my sentiment pal. You’re making shit up to suit your victim menatlity. I’m say Rodgers is an outrage on wheels. She would have thrown a grenade at the govt either way.

        • Bristling with indignation isn’t really a form of argument Iceberg …

          Let me try and get this straight – Maori outrage NOT being genuine is NOT your sentiment, yet Rodgers is “an outrage on wheels” …

          My own education in logic, albeit not very academic, simply hasn’t prepared me for this sort of stuff …

          I genuinely don’t see myself as patronising or as portraying a victim. Where did your @VictimZ thing [below] come from …? Can you cite examples …

          • Iceberg

             /  September 19, 2016

            You are patronising and you act like a victim, particularly on behalf of others. Who appointed you Social Justice Warrior in Chief?

            Who are you to paint pakeha as “ethically bankrupt with a coloniser mentality”?

            Who are you to state “National Party government polarising, mustering, focusing, marshalling and concentrating their ‘key’ voter base along racial lines a year out from the elections” FFS, why the hell would they need to do that? National (and the greens) are demonstrably the parties that haven’t done this in the last decade.

            I said nothing about Maori outrage. Read the comment again. You made that up, because it suits your colonial oppressor narrative. It’s people like you who drive the wedge.

            If you seriously think Rodgers wouldn’t have used this as a rod against the govt either way, you’re as deluded as she is.

      • David

         /  September 19, 2016

        Odd analogy given maori dont own the sea they just have a right to catch a given amount of fish which they fulfill every year without going even close to the kermedecs.
        Nothing is being taken off anyone so its no different from expanding schedule 4 DOC land

        • If fishing rights extend to the Kermadecs then its a given right …

          How difficult is this to comprehend?

          In itself even this is a questionable concept … a right given to Maori by pakeha …?

          By what right?

          As Possum pointed out, the issue therefore becomes Consultation …

          • Conspiratoor

             /  September 19, 2016

            By what right? You are making shit up parti, as is your right.
            And if a right given by pakeha to maori is questionable how so a right given by maori to pakeha?

            Maori have automatic customary fishing rights (note for non-commercial use) to the Kermadecs. Good luck with that though. A long way to go for some kai and do make sure you take a big waka up there.

            Maori also have the 20% of the total fish stocks handed to them under the 1992 deed of settlement that constituted a ‘full and final settlement of all Maori claims to commercial fishing rights (current and future). I presume two parties signed the contract. But now it seems a few dissenters want to have a go at the trough

  4. Pickled Possum

     /  September 19, 2016

    It’s all about Consultation, from my perspective any way.

    If I was invited into Your house for a visit and then went through your wardrobe and decided (without telling you) that I would like to wear that fur coat you don’t wear or even want any more. How would you feel when I walked out wearing it and seeing the shocked look on your face, say to you “Well You don’t wear it and you have it in your wardrobe, for what reason?”
    Inviting you to give justification of your given right over the fur coat.

    There is no Maori I know, that does not want a KERMADEC OCEAN SANCTUARY
    It is all about Consultation.
    If Pakeha do not give Maori consultation on this matter,
    What other Maori rights will be given away? without Consultation.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2016


      • Most excellent analogy Possum …

        I’m tempted to extend it in my often exaggerative way … Perhaps Maori should have stopped the pakeha “boat people” ever entering the country? The Kermadecs might have become transit camp “processing” detention centres?

        The “Consultation” you speak of is an absolute rock foundation of what Constitution we already have, patchy and somewhat precarious though it is. It must be strengthened or it could easily be the first Maori right to dissappear when a new Constitution is written.

    • Blazer

       /  September 19, 2016

      its not…real…fur!

      • Or not fur real … !?

      • Pickled Possum

         /  September 19, 2016

        Faux Fur Blazer, does not belong in the Lets keep it Real bro, Closet

        • Blazer

           /  September 19, 2016

          get the jodphurs out and gather the hounds for a …hunt…old chap!We’ll run the bally fox into exhaustion and hope the hounds don’t tear the pelt apart.

    • Iceberg

       /  September 19, 2016

      It’s all about Payment.

      • Gezza

         /  September 19, 2016

        We’ll see. Might be more about utu – reciprocation.

      • Really!? How unusual for anyone to seek compensation when their rights are impinged upon or expunged? It’s absolutely outlandish … Pakeha people never do that.

        • … mine’s “Really Iceberg!?” Gezza …

        • Iceberg

           /  September 19, 2016

          So you agree.

          • No, I do not agree Iceberg, and my words do not say that. It may not be not about EITHER principle OR compensation, but about BOTH plus other things like cultural perspective …

            Your attempt to create an either/or logic trap is another example of ‘Western’ moral poverty IMHO.

            • Gezza

               /  September 19, 2016

              Every culture has moral poor PZ.

            • Iceberg

               /  September 19, 2016

              “Your attempt to create an either/or logic trap is another example of ‘Western’ moral poverty”

              @VictimZ No, it’s just pointing out that your logic doesn’t hold. Or at least past one comment.

              I said it’s about payment, you agreed, now you don’t.

            • Yes Gezza, I agree. This is why, thankfully, we have legal recourse?

              Notwithstanding the ethical underpinnings of our legal system, the Court is the correct place to decide the issue.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  September 19, 2016

              This is an extraordinary thing I’ve noticed parti. It might reflect an earnest desire on my part to understand you but I have noticed as your grammar and punctuation have improved, so in turn has the structure and coherency of thought. It is almost as if you are consciously slowing to review and critique your own musings. My colleagues may disagree but you sir are beginning to make sense

              Now we just need to work on the shouting…

            • @ Conspiratoor – Iceberg PLEASE NOTE – now that IS patronising!!!

              The view from the top … from the ruins of the citadel cathedral …

    • Pete Kane

       /  September 19, 2016

      English admits sanctuary could have been handled better:
      “Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says his party will find agreement with Maori Party over the Kermadec sanctuary.”

      • Gezza

         /  September 19, 2016

        The main thing is Mr Big Bucks got to Big Note in the Big House & most of its international residents don’t know it was a Big Cock Up.

      • Donning my conspiracy theory glasses once again –

        1) “could have been handled better” might become National’s epitaph? Fairly common “after the fact” wording and behaviour from Key and his cohorts … “Oh, we could have handled that Saudi sheep deal better … but its a done deal now” …

        Hence 2) The desired effect has been accomplished regardless? Voters have been polarised and corralled. The damage to Maori from a Centre-Right (and beyond) pakeha perspective has already been created. The perception has been ‘spun’.

        Now WE, the glorious National government, will find the solution by deeming to reach agreement with these pesky, contentious Maori … further solidifying our voter base …

        This is a fairly radical, even Machiavellian perspective, not the only one I’m capable of entertaining, but the one that rings true-ist right now. The “sanctuary and conservation” component of it is convenient to the point of ultra-opportunism … much like “foreshore and seabed” … invoking almost genetic, inbred resentment against post-colonial concepts like “customary rights” …

        • Iceberg

           /  September 19, 2016

          Nonsense, National have done more to further the interests of Maori than any other party in recent history.

          • There you go Iceberg, you agree with me! National have done it … for and on behalf of Maori. Just like everything else, every benediction bestowed upon them Maori comes from us pakeha … They’d be primitive stone age people without us … Ohhh, except we wouldn’t have any land! We wouldn’t have a country or be a nation …

            The Maori Party confidence and supply agreements with National, arguably an essential requirement of their forming their minority coalition governments, has nothing whatever to do with it …

            • Iceberg

               /  September 19, 2016

              You’re lost up your own dark hole with that one.

            • Excellent argument Iceberg … No holes in the logic of that one …

              No, wait … hang on … No logic in the whole of that one …

    • David

       /  September 19, 2016

      Maori dont own the sea and your analogy gives Blazer a run for his money, fur coats in a wardrobe !

      • Pickled Possum

         /  September 19, 2016

        And neither do Pakeha own the sea David, there is only Kaitiakitanga means guardianship and protection. Maori have fought for kaitiakitanga of the Sea in many ways 1 notable one is not to have millions of litres of sewage pumped out into it Every Night with the big bits going one way and the water and air another.
        This is Not for me a matter of ownership it is a matter of keeping your word.
        Which in my opinion Pakeha have been seriously lacking, in many areas,
        This right of partnership which Maori have, was given under the Treaty, which can not be denied.

  5. Shoowopadidydidy on Stuff – “It is not “Maori” as in the whole Maori race, it is just two Iwi. And these two Iwi had a contractual right to be consulted. Nothing to do with race and everything to do with contract law. One nation, one people, one law, run by people with white skins.”

    Interesting comment from their March 20th 2016 article about this, which also says, “Tuuta believed a date for the court hearing could be set this week.”


    A case was reported on Stuff 5 August, heard before Justice Simon France …

    “In his decision the judge said the courts could not stop the introduction of a bill to parliament.

    But the issue in the trust’s case was whether the courts could make declarations that commented on proposed laws and their affect on people, while the the laws were still before parliament.

    Lawyers for Finlayson said the proper time to challenge the new law was after it had been passed. The Attorney-General wanted a “temporary lull” for parliament to complete its processes.”

    So National’s ‘admission’ and reconsideration seems to have been brought about more by the Maori Party’s second thoughts and possible coalition disconnect than by the threat of legal action?


    • Justice Simon France – ” … the proper time to challenge the new law was after it had been passed.”

      Am I all alone in thinking something sounds decidedly odd and kinda scarey about this?

      I suppose he must mean “to legally challenge it” … but even then … isn’t this what Select Committees do during the process of making the law?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 19, 2016

        Courts have no jurisdiction over Parliament, just over the law. They can’t make rulings on hypothetical laws.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 19, 2016

    If it’s all about utu I suggest National should give the Maori Party Nick Smith as a slave.